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Is AT&T Apple's Achilles Heel?

Ditching the iPhone because the cost of AT&T are too high!

There is no secret that I love my iPhone. I really do - I written several articles about how cool it is. So why am I thinking of getting rid of it. The answer: AT&T.

Bit-O history here. I was one of the first few idiots who purchased iPhone 1.0 the same week it came out. Yes, I shelled out $600. I thought it was a good deal as I was writing about the phone and could (in my head, not so much my wife's) justify the cost. I also had to purchase the $85/mth plan from AT&T. So, now it is over two years later and I still have the same phone and I am still paying $85/mth. And I want to stop paying the man.

There are several reasons why I want to get out of the contract I am with. I live in NE Wisconsin, along with 1.5 million other folks. For some reason, AT&T has decided we are too small to support 3G. Why upgrade my iPhone to a 3GS when the G bit won't work?

Also, if I do upgrade, my bill will go up an extra $10 a month. OK, so I will be paying an extra $10 for a service I do not get? Confused? Yeh, me too.

Finally, the rate of dropped calls and the quality of calls on my phone is terrible. It is to the point where I do not use the iPhone to call clients.

What finally convinced me that enough was enough happened last month. My dad, who lives in England, called me on my iPhone and I missed the call. I got the message and, without thinking, hit the call back button and spent 17 minutes chatting to the old man. I call England all the time using Skype on my iPhone at about 3cents a minute. Too cheap to even think about.

The cell phone connection was not cheap. Actually, even though I am using the same network connections as Skype, the call cost me over $25. One 17 minute call!!

So I am waiting anxiously to see what new features will be in the iPod Touch. If it has video and a compass, I might ditch my iPhone and get the iPod Touch. If I need a phone, I can install Vonage or keep using Skype and buy a MiFi connection from Verizon. Cheaper, and more reliable.

What do you think? Is AT&T too much of a burden to have an iPhone?

More Stories By Matthew David

Matthew has written books for Friends of Ed, Pearson Press, New Riders, Wiley, Focal Press and Peach Pit. He is also experience at leading teams top deliver bestselling titles books that come with accompanying video training and media. An example is Flash MX Magic, a book written by 7 authors, with an accompanying web site and CD. The book sold over 45,000 copies in 12 languages. Matthew is also the author of 400+ articles.

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Most Recent Comments
lanisan 09/08/09 11:13:00 PM EDT

I also agree. Initially I had an HTC 8525 and loved it; except it couldnt be used as a remote to my stereo (airport express thru itunes). I worked for the company (at&t) till early this year (8 years svc) and was told that we would have 3G sometime this year. I didnt get the iphone because of the 3G nor the quality of calls but after sorely paying for my iphone and my girlfriends for over a year, I started to wonder why I was paying for the *G*. The legal statement at&t makes is that you are paying a subsidy for the phone (even though well documented thru cnets website, its only around 200.00 to produce a 3g/3gs) cost. All the other major carriers including Altell, (Now verizon) Verizon, Sprint, etc have 3G in our area. Why do we pay for something we dont get? At&t has had plenty of time (and money) to upgrade the network. A small yet no where near resolving answer is: When at&t acquired so many assets in the last few years, (cingular & att merger) they saved those extra cellphone towers using additional frequencies like 850, 900, 1800 mhz (may be wrong on exact band). Since the valley only had 1 carrier & there was no overlap of frequencies/towers, they had to build all new towers in the appleton, green bay, oshkosh, fond du lac areas. ATT Wisconsin's cheif guy scott vanderson stated how much investment that at&t was making wirelessly (and if you know uverse etc) in NE WI where most of its land based services(phone, tv, internet etc) are. Ironically they forgot we wanted 3G. I know my post has added quite a bit. I initially was seeing if many or few people were complaining about the lack of service, 3G or dropped calls in our area. I was hoping to find a lawsuit in the progress ironically because I am tired of paying for crappy, shotty service. When you are paying 140.00 PLUS a month for 2 cellphones and only 550 anytime minutes.. you know you've A.) been seriously duped B.) love your service and dont mind/very wealthy.

This is far from the first or last complaint about at&t. Including their inability to remove the codes that prevent mms messaging(i used that system as an employee and it CERTAINLY!! CERTAINLY!! would not have taken me 2 months 6 days to remove the codes from all the iphone accounts, even if I was working 8 hours a day.. which usually I ended up working 10-12) so the gotta remove codes is crap. Additionaly there was the network infrastructure upgrade. Who wants to send an mms on 2.5g (which is really like 156kps) raise your hand :). So assuming we get 3G on October 7th as promised by several at&t wireless agents between oshkosh and appleton stores, we then expect to see our quality of service drop even worse because we can all (iPhone users) then send mms & then network wont be able to handle it like chicago, seattle, new york, houston, la, san diego/francisco? Not to rant on your blog, I only want to add serious points to it and to raise awareness among unhappy NE wisconsin customers. We Pay for something. Especially the 3G and 3GS customers. We do not get it. (disclaimer: 3G not availiable in all areas, nations fastest 3G network, largest worldwide) Who cares if I can get 3G in mexico, canada, asia or somewhere else? I am not paying for it there. If my comments can be helpful to the writer or to others seeking to join together and vent concerns or advance forward, then I am happy for writing this long relief. If it didnt cost me 350.00 to release my contract & the cost of new phones (that im aware of there is no other gsm carrier in the valley that I could jail break my iphone & use it on) and data plans, I would cancel at&t.

phaedra 09/07/09 12:14:00 PM EDT

I agree AT&T is horrible. I bought an iphone in August '08 with a 2-year contract. I wanted to upgrade to a 3gs ($299) in August '09 but was told no, I would have to wait until February '10 unless I wanted to pay the full price of $499. Even Sprint will let you upgrade your phone with a contract extension, but not AT&T. The result is they lost a sale for Apple. Now like you, as much as I love my iphone, I'm considering getting another pda/smartphone becuase AT&T's service is so bad. They also lied to me saying that Apple was imposing the restrictions on the upgrades. The folks at Apple told me that AT&T imposes the restrictions and I believe them.

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